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AuthorTopic: Wico joysticks  (Read 128 times)

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Offline jdryyz

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Re: Wico joysticks
« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2016, 03:00:21 AM »
My Wico Command Control that I have had for years has also had a pain of a problem for years that I have been meaning to do something about but never got around to it. I am giving it another look now.

The Fire buttons (on the stick and the base) just stop working sometimes. In the past I have turned off the computer (originally used it with a C64), unplugged the joystick and plugged it back in, turned the computer back on and then it worked again. I opened it up way back then and never found anything obviously wrong. The feather switches are in pretty good shape with only minor wear. Since they both fail at the same time, I am inclined to believe it is something with the 9 pin connector and nothing to do with switches.

Then again, this model also has a two position slide switch to activate one Fire button or both. I suppose this switch, if not working correctly, could render both Fire buttons non-functional. It too "appears" to be in good shape, though.

I could not find any other discussions about this specific problem so I take that to mean it is not a common problem.

I also have a Competition Pro joystick that works fine in the same computer but the Wico C.C. with the Fire button on the stick has always been my favorite.

I was hoping I could find replacement cables but the only thing I keep finding are cable extensions and I know just any cable will not be a good match for the enclosure. Finding a cheap, used joystick in good shape is not going well either. I am surprised to see how much people are charging for these things all beat up.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 03:55:27 AM by jdryyz »
 

Offline Oldsmobile_Mike

Re: Wico joysticks
« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2016, 03:35:54 AM »
Quote from: jdryyz;813317
The Fire buttons (on the stick and the base) just stop working sometimes. In the past I have turned off the computer (originally used it with a C64), unplugged the joystick and plugged it back in, turned the computer back on and then it worked again. I opened it up way back then and never found anything obviously wrong. The feather switches are in pretty good shape with only minor wear. Since they both fail at the same time, I am inclined to believe it is something with the 9 pin connector and nothing to do with switches.

This is good troubleshooting procedure here, but what I would do is test the controller with another computer.  And test another controller with that computer.  That should narrow it down to exactly if it's a problem with the controller, or with the computer.  Good luck!  :)
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Offline jdryyz

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Re: Wico joysticks
« Reply #32 on: September 01, 2016, 03:52:57 AM »
Sorry, I should have mentioned that the problem exists across multiple computers. It is something about the joystick alright.


Quote from: Oldsmobile_Mike;813320
This is good troubleshooting procedure here, but what I would do is test the controller with another computer.  And test another controller with that computer.  That should narrow it down to exactly if it's a problem with the controller, or with the computer.  Good luck!  :)
 

Offline QuikSanz

Re: Wico joysticks
« Reply #33 on: September 01, 2016, 04:22:59 AM »
Quote from: tonyvdb;781077
So Ive got two Wico joysticks and I just got my A4000 up and running again. Both joysticks seem to be out of centre. When playing a game they both push the player to the right and no matter how hard I pull the joysticks to the left nothing changes or it will only stop the motion. Is there a trim adjustment somewhere that Im missing?


Does it move faster to the right when you push right? If so it's 99% not the joystick but computer.
 

Offline Ral-Clan

Re: Wico joysticks
« Reply #34 on: September 01, 2016, 12:31:15 PM »
Sounds like it could be the switch.  Spray some contact cleaner in there and wiggle the switch several times to clean the crud off of the contacts.  Might work better from inside the open joystick. You could also spray some contact cleaner into the tiny holes at the end of the joystick cable on the DB-9 connector. You could also open the joystick and use a q-tip swab with some alcohol to clean the leaf switches for the fire button.

If it's not that, then test the continuity from the switch output to the pin socket on the end of the joystick's DB9 connector which delivers the fire button signal to the computer.  If it cuts in and out as you wiggle the cable, there could be a broken wire in there and you'll have to replace the joystick cable.
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Offline jdryyz

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Re: Wico joysticks
« Reply #35 on: September 01, 2016, 03:51:14 PM »
There are two different Fire buttons on the joystick. They both fail at the same time so I do not believe the switches/contacts are to blame. I did use contact cleaner on the 9 pin connector, though. It did not help.

I will try the continuity test.

Quote from: ral-clan;813339
Sounds like it could be the switch.  Spray some contact cleaner in there and wiggle the switch several times to clean the crud off of the contacts.  Might work better from inside the open joystick. You could also spray some contact cleaner into the tiny holes at the end of the joystick cable on the DB-9 connector. You could also open the joystick and use a q-tip swab with some alcohol to clean the leaf switches for the fire button.

If it's not that, then test the continuity from the switch output to the pin socket on the end of the joystick's DB9 connector which delivers the fire button signal to the computer.  If it cuts in and out as you wiggle the cable, there could be a broken wire in there and you'll have to replace the joystick cable.
 

Offline Ral-Clan

Re: Wico joysticks
« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2016, 07:53:51 PM »
Quote from: jdryyz;813349
There are two different Fire buttons on the joystick. They both fail at the same time so I do not believe the switches/contacts are to blame. I did use contact cleaner on the 9 pin connector, though. It did not help.

I will try the continuity test.


When you say they both fail at the same time, I'm not quite sure I understand - on all my Wico joystick the switch enables EITHER the stick firebutton OR the firebutton on the base.  But not both at the same time.  So how do you know they've both failed simultaneously?  Do you mean when one fails you flip the switch and the other still doesn't work?

If so, then yes it sounds like a faulty cable.
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Offline jdryyz

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Re: Wico joysticks
« Reply #37 on: September 01, 2016, 08:04:32 PM »
I tested them both by sliding the switch. Typically, I use the fire button on the stick. When it stops working, I try the base fire button. When one stops working, so does the other. But my memory on how the switch works might be a little fuzzy. My recollection was that it was either the stick button or, by sliding the switch, you get BOTH. I will have to double-check that.


Quote from: ral-clan;813360
When you say they both fail at the same time, I'm not quite sure I understand - on all my Wico joystick the switch enables EITHER the stick firebutton OR the firebutton on the base.  But not both at the same time.  So how do you know they've both failed simultaneously?  Do you mean when one fails you flip the switch and the other still doesn't work?

If so, then yes it sounds like a faulty cable.
 

Offline jdryyz

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Re: Wico joysticks
« Reply #38 on: September 02, 2016, 12:53:18 AM »
Continuity was good...and I moved the cable while testing. I went ahead and used a small amount of rubbing alcohol on the contacts as I have heard conflicting reports on using anything stronger. Some have said to not even use fluid but rather a business card moved around with slight pressure applied.

I was right about the slide switch...when in the #1 spot, only the top Fire button works, when in #2 they both work.

Plugged it back in and it is working again....for the moment.  :D
 

Offline jdryyz

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Re: Wico joysticks
« Reply #39 on: September 02, 2016, 06:33:56 PM »
Well, that did not last long. Typical of what I have seen in the past. This is really a hard one to pin down. I wonder if perhaps the contact point on PIN 6 is moving internally when pushed in and would therefore not be noticeable when testing continuity.

I have a plan. I will dig up another Wico joystick I have buried somewhere. "The Boss" it was called. I didn't like that one very much and it could also have a button problem. Since they're from the same company, the internal connection points are probably similar/identical. Would be ever better if they had the same color coding. I will check it out and try swapping the entire cable.
 

Offline Ral-Clan

Re: Wico joysticks
« Reply #40 on: September 02, 2016, 06:53:41 PM »
I honestly wouldn't worry about the alcohol thing - I've used it for years.  It's absolutely fine for electronic contacts, especially with something as tough as a WICO joystick.
Wico joysticks are extremely robust, so there could only be a few points where the problem occurs:

1. the leaf switches inside the stick base (they get dirty or bent so they don't make contact). Solution: clean 'em or bend 'em back.
2. the button selection switch. Clean it, replace it, or bypass it entirely.
3. The cable. Broken wire. Replace the whole cable.
4. The 9-hole connector at the end.  After a while some of the copper sleeves in the holes open up a little too wide and might not make contact with the male DB9 pins on the Commodore computer. Solution - either replace the whole cable or snip off the original DB-9 female connector and attach a fresh one.  If you've got nothing to lose then you might want to squeeze the outside of the plastic DB-9 female connector hard with a pair of pliers.  This might bend some of the stretched sleeves into an oval shape so they make contact with the pins in the male connector.

If I were you, yes, I would replace the cable with the one from the WICO boss.  Really, you can bypass the switch entirely and have both buttons work at the same time.  I don't know why they even included a switch.  The switch is SUPPOSED to activate either the top or the base button (it evens says this by the switch on most of mine), but I have a few that are wired weirdly/wrongly like yours is.

But how many systems have you tested this Wico joystick on?  One, two?  And it doesn't work on all of them?

I had a VIC-20 that I had sporadic joystick response with.  I had a hard time figuring out why sometimes joysticks wouldn't work in certain directions.  I eliminated the joystick as the problem, as the issue came up with many different brands of controller attached to the VIC-20. The VIC's joystick port looked fine, so I tried replacing the input/output chips (CIA) on the motherboard.  That didn't help.  I re-flowed the solder where the joystick socket attached to the motherboard.  That didn't help.

I then finally examined the joystick connector in the VIC-20 with a magnifying glass and saw that some of the brass pins on the inboard side of the socket, where they bend 90 degrees toward the motherboard, had severed completely.  Most of the time the broken ends came to rest touching each other and the joystick worked. The breaks were almost invisible when this happened. But sometimes the stress of connecting or whatever caused the breaks to open up. I just bypassed the breaks with some wire and everything worked again.

The above solutions are dependent on the fact you're sure it's the joystick that's the problem, and not the socket on the computer, or the input/output chip inside the computer.  Obviously if other joysticks work fine on this machine, then it's the Wico that's the problem.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2016, 07:03:10 PM by ral-clan »
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Offline jdryyz

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Re: Wico joysticks
« Reply #41 on: September 02, 2016, 07:20:02 PM »
Thanks for your help!

Quote from: ral-clan;813405
I honestly wouldn't worry about the alcohol thing - I've used it for years.  It's absolutely fine for electronic contacts, especially with something as tough as a WICO joystick.

I wasn't concerned about alcohol, but something stronger. As I indicated, I already went in there with rubbing alcohol and even though I did not expect any change, I did it anyway.

Quote
2. the button selection switch. Clean it, replace it, or bypass it entirely.
I was considering this also if the cable swap does not work out.

Quote
If I were you, yes, I would replace the cable with the one from the WICO boss.
This sounds like the best option so far.

Quote
But how many systems have you tested this Wico joystick on?  One, two?  And it doesn't work on all of them?
Yes, problem follows the joystick, computer does not matter.